Nothing deters site visitors more than a slow loading website! Here’s some tips to make sure your visitors don’t leave your site because it takes too long to load…
It’s important that your website load a page as quickly as possible because – in addition to discouraging visitors – long page load times will also negatively impact on your site page rankings.
Here are the main factors that affect page load times and what to do about them:
- The images and graphics on the page
- Website code
- Page content
- Hosting server speed
Slow websites will suffer from one or more of the above problems. Administrators should always ensure best practice is used related to the above points to maintain their website’s speed. Below are several effective ways to make your website load faster:
- Image Format
Regardless of the image format used on your site – jpg, gif, png – images should always be optimised for web and uploaded at the smallest file size possible while still maintaining a good appearance. Incorrect image resolution and overuse of images is one of the biggest contributors to slow page load times.
- Check Your Code
Always make sure your website is built by a developer using best coding practice and latest technologies. If your website Content Management System (CMS) is WordPress, using the WordPress plugins script compressor may also help. Some speed increase may be gained this way if your site uses a lot of scripts, but nothing can substitute for good, clean code.
Avoid using large flash files or animated gif images. Yes, they can look great, but they require large file sizes and increase page load times. Everything that flash can do can be done much more efficiently by more modern technologies. Another drawback with flash web pages is that their content can’t be linked to, which can be frustrating for visitors wanting to share your page. Their content can’t be read and indexed by Google either. If you simply must use flash or gif or other animated files, follow the same rule as for other website images and keep filesize as small as possible.
- Choose a Host with Fast Servers
It doesn’t matter how lean and fast your website is if your host deploys it on a slow server! Always check host bandwidths and speed before signing a hosting contract. If your site has a need to provide large files to its users (lots of video or other large downloadable files), make sure you pay for hosting with extra capacity and bandwidth.
To decide the best host for your site, high bandwidth, maximum guaranteed server uptime and well-recommended service should be your priorities. An added benefit of fast hosting is less time spent uploading content files to your website. Always do your research and purchase the best web hosting that your budget will allow – your investment in your website will be wasted if your site is poorly hosted.
These are just the most common causes of the many factors that can negatively affect website speed. A detailed analysis of your site will be required to decide which combination of methods will yield the most improvement to your site.